Social Navigation

Utah author of book on grieving dead accused of murder


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — After her husband died last year, she wrote a children’s book about grief. Now she is accused of his murder.

Arrested Monday in Utah, Kouri Richins is accused of poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Kamas, a small mountain town near Park City.

Prosecutors allege that in March 2022, Richins called authorities in the middle of the night to report that her husband, Eric Richins, was “feeling cold.” The mother-of-three told officers she made her husband a mixed vodka drink to celebrate selling a house, then proceeded to calm one of their children down to sleep in their bedroom. She later returned and when she noticed her husband was unresponsive, she called 911.

A medical examiner later found five times the lethal dose of fentanyl in his system.

In addition to the murder charge, Richins also faces charges for alleged possession of GHB – a narcolepsy drug commonly used in recreational settings, including dance clubs.

The allegations — which are based on officers’ interactions with Richins that night and the account of an “unnamed acquaintance” who claims to have sold her the fentanyl — come two months after Richins appeared on local television to say “Are you with me?” ” to promote. a picture book she wrote to help children deal with the death of a loved one.

For a segment titled “Good Things Utah,” Richins called her husband’s unexpected death and described how it rocked her and her three boys. For kids, she said, grieving was about “making sure their spirits always live in your home.”

“It’s — you know — explaining to my kid just because he’s not physically here with us doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,” she told the anchors, who praised her for being a great mother.

Richins’ lawyer, Skye Lazaro, declined to comment on the allegations.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.